Saturday, July 9, 2011

Okanagan Lake Provincial Campground

The mighty Rockwood Mini Lite made it from Vancouver to Oliver without plummetting over canyons and down into bottomless ravines.  At Dessert Gem we stayed in what was a parking lot with excellent facilities though the water supply was weak. It was downtown. We had a pull through, water on site, sewage on site, cable and internet.  Laura and I enjoyed having steak and potatoes while watching tv.  In the morning I walked Gilbert back of the Oliver airport.  Breakfast and readying the trailer we made our getaway in record time.
Now to find a nice place in the heat and sunshine of the Okanagan to stay a few days. We wanted more trees  and a little bit of wilderness after downtown RV living.  We wanted to 'rough it'. We drove by quite a few signs for RV camping.  Most spots now are reserved but we thought we'd just see where the road took us.
That's how we lucked out at Okanagan Lake Provincial Campground. Normally reserved and full, they had two spots vacant. We took one.  It was an experience backing up for the second time.  Mostly I can't see little Laura and I certainly can't hear her.  We've never discussed this, so her hand movements don't make much sense. Just a whole lot of flapping and pointing. I find she sprints over to my window screaming something when she really wants me to stop.  I get out alot.  We discuss where the trailer is supposed to go. I get back in the cab of truck and back the trailer up where it wants to go.  Laura waves her arms frantically and then sprints up to the side window.  I stop. We get out and discuss where the trailer is supposed to go.
There are an amazing number of trees, bushes, and signs that are planted where they could obviously get hit. Laura was especially concerned when the picnic table looked like it was in jeopardy. I was losing patience with this whole backing up business about then when she said, "You don't want the picnic table to damage the back of the trailer."  I'd been thinking about how big I was and all this other stuff being irrelevant so I re thook things. After that moment of revelation I parked the trailer just fine.  You just do the opposite of what you think you should.
That's when we found that the batteries seemed hooped, the refridgerator and water pump weren't working, but the lights were on.  So I followed the electrical through then decided to ride my motorcycle into Summerland to get a new battery. I hadn't been able to use the generator because I didn't have the proper connector either.
I got a connector  and a battery charger. We'd never been roughing it in the trailer.  I didn't know a whole lot of stuff about how the RV works without city electrical and city water supply.  I even found a 25 gallon portable honey pot in the RV store just past Summerland (great folk!)  to extend the black water capacity of the backwoods RV experience.  It was an exciting ride back with this big tank behind me and the wind off the lake nearly making me airborn.
Back at the RV I changed the battery (I needed another one for the electric outboard motor for the canoe) anyway.  That didn't change things. Still no water and the refridgerator didn't work even though I'd got the pilot light going. I'd gonethrough the whole propane system too. Laura phoned the Travelhome folk and she told us that sometimes even if the fuse looked good it was best to change it. I'd looked at all the fuses.  We're still on warranty and I notified the folk who we are insured for roadside service. (They phone in the morning after we'd solved the problem. I'd forgotten we had this option.) I didn't have any more fuses. I took the truck this time Back into Summerland. I got a slew of fuses from Lordo Auto parts.
Now back at the RV I found Laura still roughing it. I walked 30 feet to fill up the blue 5 gallon jug so we had some water. There was a clean communal toilet house with showers but Laura was dreading the thought of waiting in line. I really like having my own loo handy. I don't mind peeing in the woods but this place had too many nearby families with small children.  I couldn't just pee against the tree outside the RV door without risk of major charges.
I changed all the fuses.  Relit the pilot lights.  Kept playing with the water pump and lines.  Amazingly the fridge first worked and then the water pump came on. Laura sounded and looked for a moment like the woman in the IKEA ad. It was that kind of moment.
There it was 7 pm and we had barbecued pork chops, boiled potatoes and water to wash.  Even the ice cream was saved.  To think how close we came to devolving backwards to our earliers days of tenting when we'd thought we'd crossed that threshold only to feel it all slipping away.
I actually used the communal shower this morning after walking Gilbert around this lovely campground. Most people are tenting but there are quite a few RVers like us.  We don't have cable tv or wifi. The cell phones work though.
There's no on site sewage so I've told Laura to ration her bowel movements that way I don't have to.  Worse comes to worse I'll get to try out my new hard plastic honey pot on wheels.  I've taken the 5 gallon jug of water I got in desperation yesterday and added it to the RV tank so we could 'haul' more water if the 35 gals isn't enough. The tap is across the lane from us, beside the garbage bins.  Laura had her bath in the RV.  She was in there most of the day. I ran the generator for 2 hours this morning charging up the batteries.  With the connector I can actually run the whole RV.   There's a rule you can only have the generator on 2 hours in the morning and 2 hours around dinner time here and I wanted to be sure the batteries were fine.  I tested them and they're full so I now have a new battery for the electric canoe motor.
Laura and I think our generator sounds better than the neighbours kids.  Gilbert has spent the day on a rope watching all the goings on of other dogs on ropes and the marmots that run across the lawn to taunt them.  I saw some quail too.
It was a struggle but after lunch I actually got on the bicycle and toured the park. I'd seen the 5 year olds on their bicycles so figured it was right up my alley.  Otherwise it's been alot of reading books and nodding off in the sun in lawn chairs.
On my big bike tour I saw other people in the water swimming.  One pink bikini was memorable. I noticed another fat grey haired old guy on a bicycle had stopped to admire the rustic lake view too.
Swimming seemed like a novel idea.    After i do some more lawn chair time and snacking I might consider that. I made a big bonfire last night. That was really in the spirit of things.  Maybe I'll swim tomorrow.  These decisions are sometimes so overwhelming that I find it best to take a nap.
I feel sorry for the poor tenters.  I know I once was one and there wasn't any room for a refridgerator. I saw this poor woman washing her dishes under the water tap and thought I had been there.  Today I  preferred watching Laura wash our dishes in the RV.  DSCN9277
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